SOURCE: Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A

December 15, 2009 04:00 ET

Chick-fil-A Continues Expansion With Newest Columbus Stand-Alone Chick-fil-A Restaurant Opening Dec. 17; Bringing Nearly 65 New Jobs to the Area

Chick-fil-A Will Give Away Free Year's Supply to First 100 in Line at New Restaurant

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - The Chick-fil-A® restaurant chain, named Best Drive-Thru in America by QSR magazine for the sixth time, and its Eat Mor Chikin® Cows will do their part to "boooost" and support the local economy with the opening of Columbus' newest stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant on Dec. 17, with the celebration to include the giving away of more than $26,000 in free food and creating more than 65 new jobs.

Chick-fil-A will award a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals (52 certificates) to each of the first 100 adults in line, age 18 and older with identification, at the restaurant located at 6240 E. Broad St. The line officially begins forming up to 24 hours before the grand opening with the prizes being awarded Thursday, Dec. 17, sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. In the event that there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle. See www.chick-fil-a.com/#insidersfirst100 for complete rules.

Despite the country facing challenging economic times, Chick-fil-A continues to grow. The new restaurant caps off a year of continued expansion for the chain. The company announced in early July it planned to add an additional five new stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurants this year, an increase from 64 to 69. Along with the opening of a new mall location and 10 licensed outlets this year, more than 4,500 new jobs will be created as well as providing a positive business impact in local communities.

"Chick-fil-A is grateful that we are in a position to continue our restaurant expansion," said Chick-fil-A Inc. President and COO Dan Cathy, son of the chain's founder Truett Cathy. "Our dedicated franchised Operators across the chain continue to provide freshly prepared Chick-fil-A menu items and exemplary service that keep our raving fans dining with us. We don't take that for granted."

One way Chick-fil-A thanks its most loyal customers is by giving away more than $26,000 in free food as part of its "First 100" promotion at each grand opening. Chick-fil-A's raving fans often come from hours away, bringing tents, computers, furniture, games and even swimming pools to participate in the event which was launched six years ago to celebrate the opening of the chain's first stand-alone restaurant in Arizona.

"Since that first person pulled up in our parking lot in 2003 and asked where to get in line, we've given away more than $10.2 million in free Chick-fil-A food at our stand-alone grand openings," said Cathy, who has camped out at more than 95 of the events across the country.

"We're flattered that our new customers think enough of our food and our service that they are willing to brave snow, wind, rain and triple-digit temperatures to help us celebrate each new Chick-fil-A opening year round. Plus, it's just lots of fun."

Ohio native Karen Bolumen has been selected to operate the new stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant in Columbus. A Grove City College, Grove City, Pa., graduate with a degree in marketing management, Bolumen left a management position with another company to join Chick-fil-A and return to Ohio with her husband, Mark, and their two daughters.

"Since its first chain restaurant opened more than 42 years ago, Chick-fil-A has set a high standard for its customers by providing freshly prepared food and personalized customer service," said Bolumen. "My team and I look forward to extending that legacy at our new Columbus restaurant."

A convenient way for Chick-fil-A customers to get their favorite Chick-fil-A menu items on the go at the new restaurant is the award-winning drive-thru. Chick-fil-A was named Best Drive-Thru in America by QSR magazine in October for the sixth time in the 12-year history of the study. After a three-month industry study of 20 quick-service restaurant chains, Chick-fil-A topped the annual survey which measures order accuracy, speed of service, menu board appearance and speaker clarity.

"There are several reasons why Chick-fil-A has consistently finished on top," said Brian Baker, president of Insula Research which conducted the survey on behalf of QSR magazine. "Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Chick-fil-A is an exceptionally well-run organization at all levels of management."

The chain was number one in order accuracy, a category consumers indicate is a key concern, with an accuracy rate topping 96 percent. In addition, the study found the chain had the best speaker clarity and friendliest service.

The new Chick-fil-A features a 4,287-square-foot interior that seats 100 and has warm colors and wood accents as well as an indoor play area for children that includes an interactive section for toddlers and a convenient, award-winning drive-thru. The new restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.

Aware of rising health concerns among the population and especially for children, Chick-fil-A has eliminated artificial trans fat from its entire menu and was among the first national quick-service restaurant chains to offer a complete menu -- from entrées to condiments -- with zero grams of trans fat.

About Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Truett Cathy developed the original Chick-fil-A boneless breast of chicken sandwich in his 24-hour Dwarf House® diner near Atlanta in the early 1960s, and he opened his first Chick-fil-A® restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967. Since then, the chain has grown to include more than 1,487 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C. In 2008 Chick-fil-A, Inc. reached more than $2.96 billion in sales, representing a 12.17 percent increase over the chain's 2007 overall sales performance, as well as a 4.59 percent same-store sales increase. It is the 41st consecutive year of sales growth for the chain, which plans to add 80 locations this year, including 69 stand-alone restaurants, one mall retail outlet, and 10 licensed outlets in non-traditional locations such as college campuses. This year, the chain also will spend millions of reinvestment dollars in existing business markets to remodel and re-design 65 stand-alone and shopping mall outlets across the country.

More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com, www.facebook.com/chick-fil-a, www.chick-fil-a.com/pressroom or www.truettcathy.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Brenda Green
    Chick-fil-A, Inc.
    Email Contact
    404.765.8064

    Cindy Chapman
    CP Communications Inc.
    Email Contact
    678.546.0494
    678.858-1325 (cell)